Power Grabs Antonio Villaraigosa Should Make Once He's Done With the Schools
As soon as he was inaugurated, Mayor V took control of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, an act that looked like a power grab only because the previous mayor shirked his duty to lead the regional transit system. Antonio is, of course, currently making a play for the Los Angeles Unified School District in what is indeed a power grab — although that may not be so bad considering the state of education in the city. And he took over the Getty House, which is his right as mayor, even though no one had done that for more than a decade. So, Mr. Mayor, what’s next? Here’s what’s next. And hurry up about it.
1. The Los Angeles County Department of Health (including King/Drew Medical Center). The county Board of Supervisors has dragged its feet long enough on a proposal to turn the Health Department over to an independent authority. While he’s in a grabbing mood, the mayor should get his paws on this multibillion-dollar mess. It will be months before the supes notice it’s gone.
2. The Los Angeles County Jails. Sheriff Lee Baca can’t seem to stop inmates from killing each other, or themselves. Could the mayor do a better job? Nah, but let’s shake things up a bit. If only for a photo op of Antonio in a prison-guard uniform.
3. The Department of Water and Power. Oh, you thought the mayor already controlled the DWP? You haven’t been paying attention.
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4. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. I mean, once you have the Health Department and the jails, you might as well finish the job. Maybe get City Controller Laura Chick to throw some audits their way first, just to soften them up for the kill.
5. The Los Angeles County Federation of Labor. Whoops — my mistake. He already does.
6. The Los Angeles Dodgers. Could he do a better job of handling the team than Frank McCourt? Hmm. The real question is whether he could do any worse, to which the answer is: No one could do any worse.
7. His Own Promise-Peddling. Someone has to police the mayor’s habit of promising everything to everyone. You know what I mean: Antonio pledges to get out of Sunshine Canyon, build a subway to the sea, take over the schools, etc. Wait — with Villaraigosa in charge of the jails (see number 2), maybe Lee Baca will have some time on his hands.
8. Ameriquest. No law against flying to funerals on his own plane!
9. The Los Angeles Angels. Of Anaheim. Someone has to work out this whole name thing. Put together a task force and come up with a workable plan. Come to think of it . . .
10. Anaheim. That should take care of it.
11. New Orleans. While you’re at it. I mean, no one’s using it right now.
12. The Los Angeles Police Department. I’m tired of all these broken promises to beef up the size of the LAPD. Police Chief William Bratton is doing a decent enough job, but we need a civilian leader in control who will finally commit the resources to . . . What? The mayor already is? Oh. Okay. Let’s move on.
13. Sacramento. Oh, you already were planning to take . . . What? Oh, right, shhh, okay — mum’s the word!
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